Tue, Feb 27, 2024 4:10 PM

Rowing success at national champs


Peter Jones

Marlborough athletes enjoyed a successful time at the New Zealand Rowing Championships, staged over five days at Lake Karapiro recently.

Fred Vavasour, after training all summer with the Wairau squad rowed under the Avon banner, enjoyed a superb regatta, the NZ under-21 rower claiming gold in the men’s under-22 pair and senior coxless four, plus silver medals in the premier and senior eights.

Tom Murray also won gold, as part of the victorious premier eight, while Robbie Manson won gold in the premier double and silver in the single scull. Robbie has won the men’s double now for a record 10 times and claimed his 20th Red Coat.

Although these athletes rowed for various clubs, under the new nationals draft format, the Wairau club were well represented.

Youngsters Emma Flanagan, Lexi Timpson, Jessica Bennet and Hazel Glover claimed silver medals in the club coxless four and as part of a composite club eight with Nelson.

For Emma and Lexi it was their first year out of school, while Jess and Hazel are still secondary students, with their sights set on the forthcoming Maadi Cup regatta.

“It’s not every day you win two silver medals at your first national rowing champs as school girls – an awesome week, an awesome experience”, said Hazel.

Kirstyn Goodger, also representing the Wairau club, won bronze in the women’s premier eight, while Edwin George won silver in the premier quad.

At the conclusion of the event four Wairau rowers were selected to trial for the New Zealand under-21 squad – Emma Flanagan, Fynn Allison, Liam Collins and Ashley-James Fitzgerald.

After a series of trials at Karapiro, Emma, Fynn and Liam were named in the squad to take on their Aussie counterparts in Sydney during May. Kaye Surgenor was also named as one of the under-21 men’s coaches.

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